Key Updates about the City of Portland Home Energy Score

February 13, 2018

What are the results to date?

Answer: From January 1, 2018 – February 12, 2018:

  • There were 873 City of Portland Home Energy Scores created.

  • The average Portland home received a score of 4.4

  • The average Portland home could achieve a score of 7.1 if all cost-effective improvements were made.

  • The average Portland homeowner could save $305 per year through greater energy efficiency.

Is getting a score and placing it inside the home enough to meet the city’s requirements?

Answer: No

Explanation: Sellers are required to include the Home Energy Score and report in a listing or public posting so that buyers can access the information when they’re shopping for a home.
While the City of Portland has not specified RMLS as the location to publicize the score, RMLS has provided the real estate industry with a simple process to auto-populate the score and the URL link of the report straight into the home listing. This one-click process makes using the RMLS listing the easiest place for seller’s representatives to meet the city requirement. A tutorial on this RMLS service can be found here.

Reminder: Home sellers who do not comply with the ordinance may be assessed civil penalties of up to $500 initially, and another $500 for every subsequent 180-day period during which the violation continues. The City of Portland is now monitoring new listings and contacting sellers and the seller’s representatives when a listing lacks a Home Energy Score.

Are Portland homes scoring lower than expected?

Answer: No.

Explanation: While the average score in Portland is slightly below the national average, this is likely due to the fact that older, generally less energy efficient homes are sold at a higher rate in Portland than newer, generally more energy efficient homes. The potential for the average home in Portland to achieve a score of slightly above 7 also highlights the opportunity for Portland homes to become considerably more energy efficient through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.

Reminder: Real estate professionals can help manage client expectations by making sure they are aware of the average score in Portland and remind them that scores at the higher end of the 1-10 range represent very energy efficient homes.

How are Home Energy Scores reviewed for accuracy?

Answer: The City of Portland Home Energy Score program does review the work of the authorized Home Energy Assessors. This occurs in three ways:

  1. The Home Energy Assessor’s work is spot checked by a third party quality assurance team.

  2. Specific scores can be reviewed by the quality assurance team through a “desk review” of the home data supplied by the assessor in the Home Energy Score software.

  3. If necessary, a follow-up site visit to the home in question will be conducted by a quality assurance staff person to review the assessor’s analysis and results.

Explanation: If a score or information contained on the Home Energy Report appears inaccurate, first follow-up directly with the Home Energy Assessor. The assessor will be able to provide more information about how a score is calculated and an explanation of home features that went into creating the score. They will also be able to make corrections to the score and/or the report if any errors are identified. Assessors are also required to relay disputes to the quality assurance team if they occur. The quality assurance team will then work directly with the assessor to review the dispute and recommend further action.

Reminder: If the home seller or real estate professional representing the home seller has already followed-up with the Home Energy Assessor and are not satisfied and want to formally dispute the score, they can contact the City of Portland at:

City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability